Saturday, 7 May 2011

Planting the grape vine

Despite waking up to the sound of pounding rain this morning it cleared up by mid morning to allow me to get into the back garden and plant the grape vine we bought last weekend. Yesterday the book I'd ordered dropped through the door so, book in hand, I headed outside.


The first thing I discovered was the in the first year I'm really only aiming to grow a single shoot up a six foot cane, in fact I don't have to worry about training it along wires using the Guyot method till year three. However, this means that the two healthy looking shoots growing from our vine would need to be halved.

It felt a bit naughty taking off half the growth, but I guess it's needed to help the vine in the long run so I got the secateurs and chopped off the shorter of the two branches leaving it looking like this.

All that was left now was to plant it out so I found a nice free space next to the wall that runs around two sides of our garden where it gets a lot of sun for most of the day and dug a hole. I pushed a long cane into the hole and placed the vine next to it back filling the hole afterwards and firming down. Then I tied it up with a couple of sandwich bag ties and stood back to admire...


In the first year its just a case of keeping the side shoots pinched out and growing it up the cane. In the second year I think it gets cut back and then essentially the same happens again. In the third year it gets tied back and trained along horizontal wires before in the fourth year it kind of grows properly at last. It all sounds a bit complicated and long winded but fingers crossed we'll work it out as we go...

5 comments:

Green Lane Allotments said...

The vines we have are eating grapes. The ones outside are new and are suffering from frost damage but we have a really mature one the runs the length of our greenhouse and produces loads of bunches. It did make an attempt at greenhouse domination so had to be pruned severely

Rosie said...

I'd really love a vine but I think i'll have to wait for my greenhouse. I am not sure a vine could cope with our chilly, wind-swept, Scottish hill!!

Janet/Plantaliscious said...

Exciting! And definitely on my wish list when we come to move.

Jo said...

It's always hard pruning out healthy growth, but I'm sure it'll be worth it in the end.

Paul and Melanie said...

Thanks all, it's still alive after a weekend of being battered by the rain so fingers crossed it'll thrive now. :)